Vegan Mayan Drinking Chocolate

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Two glasses of simple vegan Mayan Drinking Chocolate topped with coconut whip and shaved chocolate

Who else is craving one last soul-warming dessert before spring truly arrives? I hoped you say yes.

If you’re into chocolate and spice and all things decadence, this is the one for you. (Also, don’t worry. I’ll never stop making decadent desserts. Promise.)

Mayan spice mix

Mayan Origins of Hot Chocolate

Chocolate has been grown in Mesoamerica since at least the 9th century. The Mayans called it xocolatl and believed it to be a gift from the gods (source). We’d say they were onto something!

They would make chocolate into a drink by fermenting, roasting, and grinding cacao and then mixing it with water, cornmeal, chili peppers, and other spices (source). The drink didn’t have any added sweetener so it was much more bitter than any hot chocolate you’ve probably tried.

Our inspired version borrows the concept of chocolate + spices, but takes a modern day twist. And don’t worry, it’s sweet!

Saucepan filled with rich vegan Mayan Drinking Chocolate

This recipe is simple, requiring just 7 ingredients and 15 minutes.

To achieve that Mayan spice profile, I went for ground cinnamon for warmth, nutmeg for a slight nuttiness, and cayenne for heat. A pinch of salt balances the sweetness of the dark chocolate, and coconut whipped cream sends things over the top. Swoon.

Two glasses filled with our Mayan Drinking Chocolate recipe for a vegan dessert

This beverage is my new chocolate obsession. It’s:

Subtly spiced
Perfectly sweet
& Super satisfying

If you’re like me and often just want a little something sweet after dinner, this is the one for you. Topped with coconut whipped cream, a pinch more cinnamon and cayenne, and some dark chocolate, you’ll be in chocolate heaven in no time.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers!

Glass of Vegan Mayan Drinking Chocolate for a gluten-free vegan chocolate dessert

Vegan Mayan Drinking Chocolate

Creamy, sultry vegan drinking chocolate made with dairy-free milk, dark chocolate, and a blend of Mayan-inspired spices. An indulgent, dairy- and gluten-free dessert in 15 minutes.
Author Minimalist Baker
Two glasses filled with our Mayan Drinking Chocolate recipe
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Course Beverage, Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mayan-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days


  • 2 cups non-dairy milk (I use half full-fat coconut + half unsweetened almond milk)
  • 5 ounces dairy-free dark chocolate (chopped // 70% cacao is best // 5 ounces yield ~1 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (more or less, depending on preferred spice)
  • 1 pinch nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw cane or coconut sugar (optional)
  • Coconut Whipped Cream (for topping)


  • Add dairy-free milk to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add dark chocolate and whisk to combine.
  • Add spices and whisk vigorously to combine.
  • Once chocolate is completely melted, remove from heat, and add vanilla extract. Whisk to combine. Taste and adjust flavors as needed, adding sugar or sweetener of choice if not sweet enough. Add more cayenne for kick.
  • To serve, top with coconut whipped cream, a dusting of cocoa or cacao powder (optional), and any additional spices and/or chocolate desired.
  • Store leftover drinking chocolate covered in the refrigerator for up to a few days. Freeze for longer term storage, though best when fresh.


*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without coconut whipped cream (which adds an additional 63 calories per 2 Tbsp).
*Adapted from my Vegan Peppermint Drinking Chocolate.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 338 Carbohydrates: 24 g Protein: 4.3 g Fat: 25 g Saturated Fat: 20 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 199 mg Fiber: 2.8 g Sugar: 20 g

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My Rating:

  1. Abi P says

    Just an update on my last post…the mayan chocolate did indeed help with recovering from jet lag, and not only that but since then I’ve had it most nights and have introduced it to my husband, my dad and one of my best friends, because a hug in a mug like this needs to be shared! I almost always make it with unsweetened hazelnut milk, 20g of 90% dark chocolate, and a half tablespoon of cacao. I leave it to thicken up on a very low heat for about 5-10 mins and after I’ve poured it into a mug, wait for another 10 mins for it to cool and thicken some more. It is my favourite way to end a day, no matter what the weather is like! Thank you for my favourite ever recipe, minimalist baker!

  2. Abi P says

    Thank you so so much for this recipe Dana! We’ve just returned to the UK after a month spent with family in california, and the jet lag is real. I lay awake all night and wasn’t able to sleep for a single minute, and gave up at about 4:45am. I felt like I wanted a comforting hot chocolate with some nice warmth to it, so headed straight to Minimalist Baker. A bit of scrolling later, found this recipe and it was perfect. It’s now 5:24am here but I feel like I can face the day even with the lack of sleep! I used oat milk, and only had 20g of 90% chocolate so also used about half a tablespoon of cacao. And subbed a little drizzle of maple syrup as sweetener. It was just what I needed! Sending grateful thanks from Cheshire in the UK ❤️
    (PS: The fact that I can even form coherent sentences right now is mostly down to your recipe!)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, we’re so glad it provided some energy and comfort, Abi! Hoping you have a more restful night tonight! xoxo

  3. Kim says

    Yum! I never had drinking chocolate until I made this but it was so much better than regular hot chocolate! I made a double batch for friends and everyone enjoyed it I think I put in a little too much dark chocolate because it was super rich, but it was nice because you really only need a few sips.

  4. Elizabeth Barclay Widas says

    Fabulous drink. I serve it in shot glasses without whipped cream because it is so thick and rich. Huge hit, every guest wanted the recipe. I made it with oat milk.

  5. Kate says

    I haven’t seen the video and really want to having read the comments :) where might i find it?

    These look amazing btw. I will be trying these this weekend!

    • Trina says

      You say this is for four but my husband and I finished it off at party of chips and hot chocolate for two. Absolutely, gobsmackingly delicious. Thank you!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thanks so much for the lovely review, Trina. We are so glad you both enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  6. Sab says

    Oh my gosh, this looks so tasty! Can’t wait to try it. Busy thinking of ways to try and cut down the calories… hmm.

    Anyway, your video was AMAZING. May I ask what song is playing in the background please? I am a jazz musician and totally dig it.


  7. Valentina @Hortus says

    I haven’t craved anything dessert-y for quite a long time now. My usual dessert is a small square of extra dark chocolate. So it’s no wonder that seeing the video, and seeing how creamy this is, totally caused all of my hormones to go CRAZY. OMG I want this so much!! Next time I’ll feel like indulging it has to be this!!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Traci | Vanilla And Bean says

    Fun video, delicious drinking chocolate! Can’t wait to whip this one up! Thank you Dana!

  9. Mandie | Mandie's Kitchen says

    Oh dear! I’m craving this now! This is a lovely recipe, and I’ve pinned for later when I have all the proper ingredients for it!

  10. Lydia @ Suitcase Foodist says

    I love the flavor profile. Nothing goes better with dark chocolate than a little spice. It sings to my Mexican blood. Thanks!

  11. Lauren says

    I love how thick this looks. Most hot cocoas are disappointingly thin, seems like this cold snap isn’t going anywhere so this drink is still needed! Thanks!

  12. Jennifer Stevens | Adventurous Appetite says

    Beautiful photos and video! I am definitely making this before the weather turns :)

  13. Kylie says

    Oh my gosh Dana, you are so amazing. That video! That song! So perfect! You are my inspiration. I have no idea how to make videos but that makes me want to try making one some day!

    ps. we should still get together soon! I still have your email sitting in my inbox :)

  14. Mikd says

    So we just made this. Holy hell it was amazing. We just tried our hand at homemade cashew milk yesterday, so we used that with the chocolate we had on hand (a combo of Ghirardelli bittersweet and semi-sweet chips). Just insanely good. And super easy. Thanks for the idea/recipe.

  15. celeste wilson says

    This looks so incredible! Even though its sunny and 72 in Los Angeles I’m going to make this wonderfully decadent recipe! I absolutely love anything chocolate and anything spicy…ding ding, we have a winner! Keep up the amazing work!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks Celeste!! I could drink hot chocolate in just about any climate as well. But if it gets too steamy, pour this into popsicle molds and freeze it up!

  16. Medha says

    Wow – you made me so hungry! Spices and chocolate, the best combination ever. Hope you do more videos, its like another level of deliciousness. Love it.

  17. Elizabeth at Pineapples and Polka Dots says

    Oh goodness, this looks amazing! It’s still snowy here, which means it’s still hot chocolate season! Thanks for sharing!

  18. S Lauren | Modern Granola says

    Incredible video! This looks crazy tasty. Now I know how I’ll be getting my chocolate fix today!

  19. Dee @ PromptsbyDee says

    You can never have enough hot chocolate, even when it’s warmer!! This looks AMAZING!! THANK YOU!

    • Laura ~ Raise Your Garden says

      I’m hyperglycemic so I have to watch my blood sugar carefully but when desserts/drinks contain cinnamon (helps regulate blood sugar) and dark chocolate, I can indulge! Yay. Thanks for sharing this.

  20. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says

    Sooo I wanted to make this at first glance anyway and then, THEN!, I saw the video. OMG, this looks so creamy, thick, and delicious!!